Tortoises and Water


Do Tortoises need to have access to water?


This is a question that we are often asked and like all living things, tortoises DO NEED WATER. You do have to be very careful however, as most tortoises cannot swim and if they get into deep water, they can, and will drown.


Water should be provided in their area outside. You can use the twin cat dishes, that are easy to fill and clean and the tortoises cannot get into them. If you have young tortoises that are small enough to fit into them, then use the plastic lids that you can buy to go on the top of open cat food tins. You can also use a plastic plant pot saucer, sunk into the ground with a stone in it to weigh it down. Whatever you use, make sure that it is cleaned regularly. If you are going away, ask someone to do this for you. You must never leave them to drink water that is stale or dirty.















At least once a week you need to soak a tortoise. Use a safe container, like a washing up bowl, and put lukewarm water so that the tortoise can soak in it but not drown. They should be able to get their head out of the water when they want to. If happy, they can be left for up to 1/2hr and they MAY spend most of the time drinking. If they do not drink do not become concerned, as they may not need to. If they soil the water, which happens very often as they need to flush out the waste and toxins, then change the water. If you have young tortoises, or a tortoise that is not well, then you are advised to give them a soak on a daily basis to prevent dehydration. It is also beneficial to soak tortoises every day during the week they come out of hibernation.


you have a garden pond, then you must make sure that it is securely fenced off. Tortoises will get into them to get to the water, and they will drown.If